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07-25-2012, 11:12 AM   #1
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Preparing to take a film photography class... will my K-5 lenses be compatible?

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

So, I'm curious - I am focused on digital photography but I am planning on taking some film classes soon and I am looking at getting a Pentax film SLR camera. The thing is though, I would like to be able to find one that uses the same lenses for my K-5 for the film SLR. Now, I am curious, which cameras would have lens compatibility with the K-5? Furthermore, are newer K-mount lenses backward compatible with older Pentax cameras that use the K-mount?

Love is the Law, Love under Will.

07-25-2012, 11:15 AM   #2
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It depends on a few things:

Which lenses do you have? Do they have an aperture ring?

If they do have an aperture ring - practically any Pentax film slr will be able to use them.
If they do not have an aperture ring - you will need to get one of the more recent film slrs.
07-25-2012, 11:18 AM   #3
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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Just to clarify, is the aperture ring the dial towards the end of the lens that has the blue and white numbers in two rows until an infinity symbol and "ft/m" that one turns and changes the focus? Because all of my lenses have that as I had a bad experience with a Nikon and I'm not entirely sure about the ones without this..

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07-25-2012, 11:32 AM   #4
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Please see the above image.

1) At the top of the lens after the hood is the focusing ring. That ring allows you to manually focus the lens.
2) Below that ring is what I believe you are referring to - that is the focusing scale. Those numbers in ft/meter tell you the distance at which it focuses.
3) The numbers below the focusing scale is the hyperfocal range and is used to do zone focusing (which you may learn in your class).
4) The last ring with the green A is the aperture ring and allows you to manually set the aperture on the lens. If your lens has that aperture ring, you will be able to use practically any Pentax film camera. If you do not have that ring, you need a more advanced Pentax film camera that can electronically control the aperture.



Above, an example of a Pentax DA lens without #2, 3, and 4.

Pentax P30T - Manual Focus Film SLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications - An example of a Pentax film camera with manual focusing and capability to control aperture.

07-25-2012, 11:41 AM   #5
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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Alrighty, so my lenses do not have an aperture ring. Which models would I be able to use, with that in mind?

Love is the Law, Love under Will.
07-25-2012, 11:42 AM   #6
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If you're going to take a film photography course, I'd recommend getting a simple, manual K mount body. Using manual mode (with a meter) is the way to learn to shoot film. My first pick would be a MX body, second choice would be a KX, third choice would be a KM, and failing any of those a K1000.

The only reason to get a newer / AF body would be if you already have some amazing DA lenses that cannot be used on a film body easily (since they lack aperture rings).

What lenses do you have? Knowing that would help us help you...
07-25-2012, 11:48 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by JessicaSideways Quote
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Alrighty, so my lenses do not have an aperture ring. Which models would I be able to use, with that in mind?

Love is the Law, Love under Will.
I will defer to other members here on suggestions, but if you look on the Pentax Camera review pages, they give you a lot of information. I do not know when Pentax implemented auto-aperture in their film cameras, but if someone can give that year, you can look at film cameras made after that year for ideas.

Alternatively, you can invest into a few cheap manual lenses like:
SMC Pentax-M 28mm F3.5 Reviews - M Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
SMC Pentax-M 50mm F1.7 Reviews - M Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
SMC Pentax-M 120mm F2.8 Reviews - M Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Or: SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm F3.5-4.5 Reviews - F Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database <- Really good lens here, has aperture ring, works with your k-5, small, fast focusing, pretty good image performance, etc etc

Which don't really cost a lot
07-25-2012, 11:50 AM   #8
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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Yeah, here are the two lenses I have (right now):

Pentax SMC DA* Series 16-50mm f/2.8 ED AL IF SDM Wide Angle Zoom Lens
Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED Lens

What do you think, am I just being a cheapskate (which is a fair concern, being a college student - albeit a photography student eventually planning on pursuing a BFA once I get my AAS).

Love is the Law, Love under Will.

07-25-2012, 11:53 AM   #9
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A cheapskate with a k-5 and a DA*16-50

Neither lens will work with a film camera though - because they are meant for APS-C sensors, not the full 35mm film size. With that in mind, you may want to look into getting a lens that works for film size.

Some of the DA lenses do work with film (full frame, 35mm) size.
07-25-2012, 11:55 AM   #10
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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Hrm. Well, that's unfortunate but hey, que sera sera. At least some of the glass for a Pentax film SLR might not be as expensive as the digital SLR lenses are.

Love is the Law, Love under Will.
07-25-2012, 11:57 AM   #11
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Again, I hiiiiighly suggest getting the F 35-70 as it will work on your k-5 as well afterwards. It won't be as sharp as your 16-50, but it's a very good range on a film camera, and you can find it for about $60 bucks.

If you do want to try full manual experience, then the M or A 50 F1.7 is the classic lens to use (although I actually prefer a wider lens, like a 28 or 35mm).
07-25-2012, 12:00 PM   #12
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You do know that the better of your two lenses (the 16-50) will not cover the entirety of a 35mm frame, right? Your lenses are intended for covering the K5-size sensor, which is smaller than a frame of 35mm film. I think the 55-300mm lens will cover 35mm (someone can chime in if they know for sure), but the 16-50mm won't until it is zoomed well into the middle of its range.

You also might want to talk with your instructor about what sorts of things she/he wants you to learn in the course. The issue is that a more modern Pentax body that can drive your lenses may not be easy to use to achieve the desired learning outcomes.

What I would (still) recommend is to get an older, high quality, manual focus film body like the MX or KX. They have focusing screens that are MUCH nicer to use than any later body, and they will be easy to use for your course to learn the essentials of film photography. Don't forget that any lens you buy for a film body can also be used on your K5. Based on what you already have, I would suggest looking for a fast prime lens like one of the Pentax 50mm 1.4 or 1.7 lenses.
07-25-2012, 12:06 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by JessicaSideways Quote
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Yeah, here are the two lenses I have (right now):

Pentax SMC DA* Series 16-50mm f/2.8 ED AL IF SDM Wide Angle Zoom Lens
Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED Lens

What do you think, am I just being a cheapskate (which is a fair concern, being a college student - albeit a photography student eventually planning on pursuing a BFA once I get my AAS).

Love is the Law, Love under Will.
neither of these will cover the ff image, but as pointed out you could assemble a pretty good manual focus kit for not a lot of money,
M 28 f3.5
m50 f1.7
m100 2.8 or the f4 macro
m or k 135 3.5
m200 f4

look for a KM body , it's the step up from the K1000 and sells for less (excellent camera

the big plus is all these will work with your K5 and give great results with some practice (manual focusing takes some getting used to for most people who didn't start that way)


I have a number of these items for sale on my local CL I'll PM you with an offer if you like (I'm focusing on m42 for my manual lenses )
07-25-2012, 12:07 PM   #14
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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Well, I know now that they will not fill a 35mm lens and therefore, would make it more important to get lenses that would work with the film camera. Thanks much to everyone who has helped me in this thread. ^_^

Love is the Law, Love under Will.
07-25-2012, 12:08 PM   #15
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K1000 w/ a 50mm -- that's what legions of former students have used, and it is what some instructors will insist on (not a particular body/lens, but a fully manual set-up).
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